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Description - Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes

Set on the cusp of World War One, and in the 1970s, EASTER ISLAND tells the passionate, heart-breaking and ultimately redemptive story of two remarkable women. Elsa, an Edwardian Englishwoman, is forced by circumstance to leave the man she loves and agree to a marriage of convenience. The marriage enables her to fulfil her great dream: to visit Easter Island and to study its mysterious history. But as Elsa becomes bewitched by the island and engrossed in her work, she fails to notice that her beloved sister Alice is becoming caught up in desires of her own, that will threaten not only their work, but also their lives. Sixty years later, Dr Greer Faraday, recently widowed, makes her own journey to the island. Born into a different time and country, Greer nevertheless shares Else's passion for this strange and haunting place. Troubled by unhappy secrets, Greer takes solace in her work, making an island of herself. But as the two women's stories begin to entwine and passions are played out, both Greer and Else must struggle against what society expects of them, and what fate has planned...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349117959
ISBN-10: 0349117950
Format: Paperback
(191mm x 125mm x 26mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 27-May-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes

Book Reviews - Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes

UK Kirkus Review » Elsa Pendleton is a young Englishwoman trapped in marriage to an older man she has no love for. When her husband announces a four-year expedition to Easter Island to research its history, Elsa is excited about the possibilities that lie before her. Once settled on the island, Elsa becomes increasingly interested in carrying out her own research on the rongorongo, historic scriptures they discover written on wood, and as she becomes gradually more immersed in this she starts to feel a sense of freedom. But Elsa's happiness soon deserts her as events unfold in ways she never expected; news of the First World War reaches them, and the past she tried to forget won't leave her alone. 60 years later Greer Farraday, a newly widowed botanist, arrives at Easter Island to spend eight months researching its ecosystem. Haunted by her grief, Greer too immerses herself into her work, studying the island's pollen and shutting herself off from other island researchers. As she slowly comes to terms with her uncomfortable past and her husband's death, her story becomes entangled with Elsa's as she uncovers more and more about the island's history, its statues and its inhabitants. This is a beautifully written tale of history, myths, legends, science and romance. Vanderbes cleverly interweaves the very different yet almost parallel stories of two strong heroines trying to escape their pasts. She has meticulously researched and executed her setting and themes, which at times, unfortunately, smothers her storytelling. In particular her attention to detail becomes rather overwhelming, especially for readers with sparse knowledge of botany and Polynesian history. However, this is a satisfying and well-paced first novel, at times unpredictable, that demonstrates Vanderbes's obvious strength for storytelling. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Jennifer Vanderbes

Jennifer Vanderbes is a graduate of Yale and the University of Iowa, where she also taught. Her short story 'The Hatbox' was published to critical acclaim in Best New American Voices 2000. She is 28, lives in New York, and teaches at Colgate University.

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